Tag Archives: Sewing

Yet More Ardens!

If you’ve seen my previous pair of linen colour-blocked Arden Pants, it will come as no surprise that I am here sharing another pair! My sister seems to like blue as much as I do, as there were three different shades of blue (the third one is in the next, and final pair I’ll share). I decided to pair this denim-blue with navy as I figured they would be easy-ish to match tops to.

Unlike the cream and pink pair, I split this pair front and back. This involved some pattern tetris to get all the pieces to fit as the pieces of fabric were kind of a weird shape. I ended up cutting the leg pieces out one at a time to make sure it all fitted. There was no weirdness needed with adding seam allowance to the waistband like with the last pair.

I could also follow the instructions as written this time, as I didn’t need to change threads more often to do both front pockets, then both back pockets. I did, however, have to change threads half way around the waistband (as I had to on all 3 pairs, just in different places), and half way around each leg hem. That was a little fiddly, but I’m glad I made the effort as I think it would have looked odd to have had one colour running all the way around – it would have stood out whichever colour I chose!

As ever, I made the size 6 with no fitting changes, aside from a deeper hem of 6cm.

I have to say, I love the side view of this pair! If you just saw me from either the front or the back you wouldn’t think anything odd, but then bam!

Wow, I took a lot of photos and don’t really have anything much to say about my millionth pair of Ardens!

Do you have a real go to pattern that you’ve made loads? I think I’ve got other patterns I’ve made quite a few times, like the Kalle or Archer shirts, but I don’t think I’ve ever made so many of a pattern in such a short space of time! I made 4 pairs in total this Summer, to add to the 4 I made last year!

I didn’t think I’d get much wear out of my Summer Ardens as the weather was kind of crap in August when I was sewing them, but then I forgot September is always lovely and warm!

More Ardens!

When I wrote about my black Arden pants, I think I mentioned that I had some other pairs planned/made (I can’t remember where I was with them), so hopefully it’s not too much of a surprise that I’m writing about another pair now! And they look like 2 different pairs, depending on which way around I stand! I love them!

My sister made a load of linen dresses last Summer and had some fairly large pieces leftover, which she very kindly gifted to me. Though there wasn’t enough of any of the colours to make a whole pair of Ardens so I went with colour-blocking several pairs, trying to pair the colours together in the best way across the 6 colours.

To cut the pieces out, I laid one colour on top of the other and cut out as I would have if the fabric had been one length, folded in half. The only change at the cutting out stage I made was to add seam allowance to the ‘cut on the fold’ edges of both waistband pieces, as they had to have half in each colour sewn together.

As with all my other pairs, I made the size 6 with no fitting changes, except a larger hem of 6cm.

I also deviated slightly from the order of the instructions, so I didn’t have to change thread colours more than was necessary (my sister had some matching thread of each colour left, too, bonus!). I did the front and back pockets of one colour, then repeated both on the other colour – the instructions obviously have you do both front pockets, then the back ones

I made sure where there was top stitching, to match the colours – so this meant changing half way around the waistband and when top-stitching the inner leg seam. Thankfully the hems were fine – one of each colour!

I really do love the Arden pattern – and I’ve made it so many times now, I don’t even really need the instructions! As I mentioned I’ve got 2 more pairs to share coming up, and some other makes I managed to squeeze in before I moved house last week.

Anyone based in Oxford fancy a sewing meet up?

Black Ardens for Summer

If you don’t want to see multiple versions of the same pattern, you’ve come to the wrong blog! This is the first of 4 pairs of Arden pants I’ve made this Summer and this black pair is my fifth pair I’ve made up to this point! I made 2 pairs from double gauze and 2 pairs of sweatpants, using Helen’s Closet’s hack tutorial.

After wearing the navy and mustard double gauze versions loads during the lovely hot weather we were having in the UK and realised I could do with a black pair to go with more things in my wardrobe – I know it’s boring, but most of my clothes go with black if not navy!

The fabric is a linen and cotton blend – I was going to get just linen, but I thought with some cotton mixed in they might crease a bit less when worn, not that I have a particular problem with creasing. It was also a little cheaper than the 100% linen. It was from the local sewing shop near where my sister lives, which is surprisingly great for such a tiny town in south Lincolnshire! It has lots of great garment fabrics (as well as some quilting cottons) and a good range of indie patterns.

As with my other pairs, I made the size 6 with no adjustments. I really do like how quickly this pattern comes together – I like a more involved project sometimes, but not having to do a fly is also bliss!

I did a 6cm hem in total – I did a 7cm hem in my previous pairs – and I’m not really sure why I did it differently!

I finished these trousers last month and they’ve already got quite a lot of wear – I definitely crave looser clothes in hot weather, it’s way too constricting to be wearing jeans!

Do you make multiple versions of patterns when you find one you like? I definitely do – often I’ve made patterns in pairs in the past, but I also have some patterns I go back to more often than others, like shirt patterns and the dawn jeans!

A Zero Waste Dress for a Wedding

A couple of weeks ago I made this (mostly) zero waste pattern for my sister to wear to a wedding that she’s going to next year. I used the Daisy DIY Maya Dress tutorial and it was so easy to follow. The only wasted bits of fabric were the scoops you take out of the front and back necklines.

You use your own measurement to decide how but each piece needs to be. Luckily the fabric Phoebe had bought was the exact right width to get her bodice fronts and backs from one full width. The rest of the pieces used a full width too – it was a narrow width cotton. The sleeves and the ruffle at the bottom ended up being the same height, not necessarily by design but it was a happy accident. And the ruffle at the bottom was 3 widths of the fabric in total and ended up using the full length we had left. There were 3m in total of the fabric.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I did so much gathering – or any gathering for that matter! But since there are no closures, it’s a pretty quick sew – the slowest thing was hemming all the ruffles!

We did decide to use some scraps of plain navy fabric to add some pockets – because who doesn’t like pockets?! And since I took these photos I also added some waist ties, from the same navy fabric, because whereas I like the loose billowy look, Phoebe wanted to be able to shape it a little at the waist. I used the Hinterland Dress pattern pieces as a guide, and we used it for the neck shaping too as Phoebe has like 8 Hinterlands and likes the neckline, and how you can tie it for a looser or tighter fit as needed.

She was originally going to make the Zadie Jumpsuit for her wedding outfit, but then we saw about buffet dresses being a thing on the sewing bee and it seemed like it would be easier to fit, cool to wear if the weather is hot – and you avoid the whole ‘naked on the toilet’ problem you have with jumpsuits!

I really enjoyed sewing this dress, after I got over the stress of cutting into the fabric and praying our measurements were okay! It was nice to sew something for someone else and to do something relatively simple. I definitely have my eye on another of Daisy DIY’s tutorials for some fabric I’ve had for a while in my stash – I’m probably going to do the Gathered Rectangle Dress. I’ve measured my fabric and I just about have enough – and with the hot weather we’ve been having, I think it might need to be my next project! I don’t have any summer dresses really!

My niece wanted to be in the photos too! It looks like the greatest photobomb!

I made ALL THE UNDERWEAR

If you don’t follow me on YouTube (or Instagram) you may not have seen that I have made rather a lot of underwear in the last few weeks! I have a whole new underwear wardrobe, which is awesome because I was getting a bit low on pants – does anyone else find lots of pairs seem to wear out all at the same time, leaving you with barely a week’s worth? Well I no longer have that problem, lol.

Fair warning: there are a lot of photos in this post. You can see a video of all the combinations on YouTube or Instagram Reels.

The 2 patterns I used for all of these makes were the Sophie Hines Axis Tank – which I took off 5cm from for the bralette versions and added 7cm to for the vest versions; and the Megan Nielsen Acacia Pants – which is free, and which I added 4cm to the rise of as I like my pants to sit slightly higher. The Axis Tank goes up to a 50″ bust, 42″ waist, and the Acacia Pants go up to a 48″ waist and 58″ hip. It’s free to newsletter subscribers.

I decided I wanted most of my underwear to be made from nice, breathable jerseys. I did use some random stuff from the stash (the navy, mustard stripe and navy stripe) but I also ordered some bamboo jerseys from Ray Stitch, plus the mustardy-peach was a different organic jersey (but not bamboo).

This was my first time sewing with bamboo jersey and while it is really soft and lovely to wear, it wasn’t my favourite to sew with, if I’m honest. It’s very slippery and I’m often a bit slapdash with cutting out so some of my pieces maybe weren’t quite the exact right shape/size but it all seemed to work out okay in the end. I’m happy to have a break from sewing with it though!

I bought a bunch of foldover elastic from ebay and it obviously isn’t the best quality but it’s good enough and the thicker stuff I bought is actually a little too strong so it’s a delicate balance finding the right elastic, imho. I did have some bright blue elastic which was just about enough for one pair of pants so I used it on a white pair for maximum contrast and I do love this pair!

I know it might be kind of a boring colour, but I think the grey ones might be my favourite. I only ordered white, black and navy elastic so I decided to use white elastic on the grey (I briefly considered black but it didn’t look as good) and I’m really happy with how they look.

I just realised I didn’t mention the sizes I made – I made the size xs of the Axis tank and the size 2 of the Acacia pants. My measurements are 32″ bust, 25″ waist, 35″ hip.

At some point in the last 18 months/ 2 years or so I decided I didn’t want to keep wearing underwired bras. In the Winter, working in a freezing cold bookshop, I’d be wearing 8 layers of clothes on average, so it really didn’t matter whether I had a bra on or not and I got used to not wearing them. Then when I tried after a break, I felt like the wire was REALLY digging into my ribs – I guess that was always the case, but I was used to it? I then decided I needed some soft bralettes for when I want a layer underneath my clothes. Luckily I don’t feel like I need the support of underwiring.

I had a mammoth cutting out session of cutting out all the things before I moved (at the beginning of May) so I would have some projects ready to go for after the move. I thought batch sewing would be fun – and the actual construction seams are really minimal across both patterns (2 gussets via the burrito method and side seams for the pants; and one back seam and 2 shoulder seams for the tank). But then there’s the hem bands and the elastic. I definitely would be happy to not sew any elastic for a while!

In total I made 4 pairs of pants in each plain colour (black, white, grey, navy, mustardy-peach) and 2 in the mustard stripe. Then I made 2 bralettes and one vest in each of the plain colours, plus one vest in each of the striped fabrics. It definitely should keep me going for a while! I could maybe cut out individual items when I’m next making a knit project to use up any scraps but I don’t want to batch in the same way again!

This striped fabric is actually a ponte and it doesn’t really have enough stretch to be as easy to get on and off or as comfortable to wear.

I am digging how from the back it looks like an old fashioned style swimming costume! I was thinking before I took all these photos that actually these 2 patterns could make a good bikini-type swimming costume. I would leave the pants as they are and maybe use the original length of the Axis Tank for the top – I think the vest is a little too long and the bralette a little too short. Not that I ever wear swimming costumes, but I’m kind of digging the idea now I’ve thought of it! I might keep my eyes open for some nice swim fabric (oooh, maybe a mix and match set with 2 pairs….)

I do really love this fabric. It’s been sitting in my stash for ages, waiting for the right project and I’m glad I’ve finally used some up. I think I might still have enough left for a t-shirt so I might have to move that to the top of my to-make list. I’m definitely craving some simpler projects to cleanse my palette from the endless elastic and hem band sewing!

I said for the longest time that I wasn’t going to bother making underwear as it would be too fiddly, I can buy it and there are more fun and exciting projects to make! But then last year I was furloughed for months and months and so had the time to work through my whole back-catalogue of projects I wanted to make and so suddenly making underwear seemed useful instead of a waste of time. I maybe could have made fewer items (lol) but at least I’m all set for a good while. Now I’ve finished them all, maybe I can make some completely frivolous frosting makes to try different fabrics? Or do some proper full on tailoring? Or some hand sewn projects? Who knows…..